Cheslor Cuthbert recently snapped an 0-for-40 streak and has not been good for the Kansas City Royals this season. Should they release him?
Signed as an international free agent in 2009, Cheslor Cuthbert was ranked by Baseball America as the 84th best prospect in the game prior to the 2012 season. Prior to making his major league debut in July 2015, Cuthbert slashed 0.277/0.339/0.421 with 22 doubles, 11 home runs, and 51 RBI’s in 104 games with Triple-A Omaha.
However, any of that production has yet to carry over into the big leagues. His best season came in 2016 when he slashed 0.274/0.318/0.413 with 28 doubles, 12 home runs and 46 RBI’s in 128 games with the Royals. He was impeded by a back injury in 2018 that caused him to miss a significant amount of time.
"“I didn’t know it was fractured right away,” Cuthbert said. “At the beginning, the MRI showed a lot of swelling. And I rested, and then tried to come back, and it was still hurting. Then we had another MRI and it showed a fracture.” – MLB"
Cuthbert had to work his way back just to make the big league roster again this season as Hunter Dozier was getting a significant amount of playing time in his absence. This season, Cuthbert is slashing an unimpressive 0.247/0.286/0.380 with 13 doubles, 8 home runs, and 34 RBI’s (71 wRC+).
He’s a below-average player on a below-average team. If the Royals were anywhere near 0.500, I am convinced that he wouldn’t be on this roster. Cuthbert’s been worth a -0.9 WAR this year and -1.4 WAR in his career.
Due to the emergence of Dozier and playing time of Ryan O’Hearn, Cuthbert has split an equal share of time at both third and first base. So given what we’ve seen in Cuthbert and the new ownership coming this offseason, it begs the question if he’s still on this roster when the team enters Spring Training next year.
Cuthbert is under team control through the 2021 season and makes next to nothing, but I am not sold on his playing time outside of the lone fact that this roster is lousy. It will be interesting to see if John Sherman completely overhauls this roster when he assumes ownership and Cuthbert could be one of the first to go.